by Dr. Grant Scarborough
Often during morning devotion with our staff, I start a verse and make the staff try to finish it. Like this verse from John, “By this my Father is glorified……” Now you fill in the blank.
I read this verse while riding back from a Missions Conference where I had the chance to interact with people doing work in Iraq, Afghanistan, and pretty much every nation. To see the courage of these men and women was overwhelming. They sacrificed everything so that the good news of Jesus would be carried to the ends of the world. I met one young man, whose grandfather died with a missionary named Jim Elliot on the side of a river attempting to share the gospel with an unreached people group. Jim Elliot once said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” These men and women I met were giving what they could not keep (their very own lives) to gain what they could not lose (eternal life).
I was overwhelmed. How can a small ministry in Columbus, GA be involved with overseas missions? What does that look like? “Lord, it is too much for me!” I doubt myself and my abilities. I doubt MercyMed’s capacity. “Lord, it is too much!” Then I read the verse. “By this my Father is glorified……” I am still overwhelmed, I still have doubts, I still have no idea what MercyMed and overseas missions could look like – but I know what MercyMed is supposed to do. And I know what all believers are supposed to do.
“By this my Father is glorified, that we bear much fruit.” Bearing fruit brings God our Father glory. We are meant to bear fruit – to bear MUCH fruit. I still do not know if we will go overseas, but I do know we will put our efforts into bearing fruit. Fruit can look different for everyone. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. Fruit can also be feeding the hungry, visiting prisoners, or caring for orphans. Fruit can be encouraging the weak, loving the lonely, and introducing individuals to Jesus.
The more I thought about fruit bearing the more I realized it was not individual fruit bearing. It is a church, or a team, or a community’s work. Some have to plant, some water, some pick the fruit. Every part is essential. MercyMed’s fruit bearing is not from one doctor, but the community around us. We have doctors giving a day a week to help us in Cardiology, Orthopedics, and more. We have dentists donating time on Fridays to care for teeth. We have individuals working hard and giving money to provide services. We have board members giving time and direction for the ministry. MercyMed has had the ability to bear fruit because of you. We acknowledge we could not do it alone.
We are grateful for your involvement. You are a part of the MercyMed team. You are bearing fruit. At the same time, we desire to bear much fruit, so that our Father is glorified. We desire to give more away, serve more, and love more. Thank you for your kindness toward MercyMed. My prayer this coming year is that together we will bear much fruit, knowing that whatever we do, we do it all for the glory of God. We are all missionaries. “By this my Father is glorified, that we bear much fruit.”